iOS devices are generally considered safe, but it would be a mistake to consider them 100% foolproof. Smartphone hacking is a lucrative branch of cybercrime, and it was only a matter of time before the iPhone lost its unbreakable status.
Apple is doing an outstanding job building a secure ecosystem. Their smartphones come with efficient in-built security features, but they are not nearly enough to protect your online activities. The only way to neutralize external threats is to combine iOS security features with additional cybersecurity software – here’s how to do it.
The most recent – and incredibly robust – iPhone security feature is Lockdown mode, released for testing with updated iOS 16. Israeli cyber-intelligence NSO group is famous for releasing Pegasus spyware, and Lockdown is Apple’s response to protect its users. It’s not the first time Apple is defending against government-backed surveillance software, as they have denied FBI backdoors to their encryption services more than once.
Apple does not joke regarding Lockdown mode, and using it will sacrifice much of iPhone comfort to protect user privacy. If you just want to remain safe while using public Wi-Fi, you can jump to our software recommendation in the second half of this article. However, this feature is incredibly strong if you are looking for unbreakable online privacy. Here’s what Apple’s Lockdown mode does:
- Message security. It will block any message attachments except for images. Previews will be disabled, neutralizing several clandestine malware.
- Image protection. You will not be able to use shared albums – this feature will be restricted on your iPhone.
- Disables FaceTime invitations. No one will be able to initiate Facetime invitations except you.
- Limited connections. You will not be able to wire-connect your iPhone with another computer or additional accessory.
As you can see, Lockdown severely limits iPhone features. However, that’s the price to pay for online anonymity. To compare, most people use Google Chrome browser because it’s comfortable yet collects all user data it can. If you want to limit online surveillance, you can use the TOR browser, which is slower and less comfortable but offers online privacy protection. One way to solve this is to use the popular browser for casual Internet browsing and cybersecurity software for privacy-related operations.
Another feature coming to iPhone 16 and future versions is Passkeys. It will modify the account registration process by substituting the username-password combination with a biometric-based passkey. In theory, it sounds great. However, time will tell whether passkey security is better than a strong password, which you can utilize with additional software.
As safe as iPhones are, new malware often finds its way around in-built protection features. For example, biometric identification can be extraordinarily hard to hack, but it is a terrible idea from an online privacy protection perspective. In short, you are trusting a third party with your most intimate information. If a rogue employee obtains biometric identification data for malicious purposes, they can do much more than with a username-password combination.
Right now, reliable third-party cybersecurity software makes your iPhone truly secure. Furthermore, you can achieve a similar to Lockdown cybersecurity level without sacrificing comfort. On the other hand, if your situation requires maximum online anonymity, you should use both.
Because much smartphone hacking is related to password cracking, password managers are among the most popular iPhone cybersecurity apps. They store all your different passwords in an online encrypted vault that’s accessible solely to you.
Biometric identification is unique, as no other person has the same biometric data as you. However, it is a single point of entry to all accounts. If it gets compromised, cybercriminals can target all your accounts. On the other hand, if you accidentally leak one of your passwords, it will only compromise one account. And breaking password Vault encryption is not something even state-backed hackers can do, so password managers are considered the best way to protect your device.
iPhones can benefit from various cybersecurity software, such as a VPN, Cloud storage, and identity theft protection. This article aims to show that you still require additional protection, even though Apple does its best to make iPhones as secure as possible. Combine their features with an extra layer of protection, and you won’t have to worry about iOS cybercrime.